MANILA, Oct 12 (Mabuhay) — Rappler founder Maria Ressa on Tuesday said government should take responsibility for the cyberlibel complaint she faces, a day after the administration congratulated her for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
“I suppose thank you and then what I didn’t appreciate is almost hand in hand it came with a hit,” Ressa said of the Malacañang statement congratulating her for her Nobel award.
“Hand in hand with that (praise) was this reminder, which is a lie . . . that the cyberlibel complaint is filed by an individual and what the government repeatedly refuses to say is that it takes a government to actually file a criminal case
“So this is the government’s case, it’s the Department of Justice’s, it is their decision. So they should really own it. So thanks, but not thanks.”
Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov shared the 2021 Nobel prize after braving the wrath of their respective governments to expose corruption and misrule.
Ressa has been fighting multiple legal challenges in courts related to Rappler’s dogged investigative reporting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s government, its bloody war on drugs, and its use of social media to target opponents.
“It is a victory for a Filipina and we are very happy for that,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a regular news conference, responding to a question on what the award meant for the government.
“Of course it is true there are individuals who feel Maria Ressa still has to clear her name before the courts,” he said, in the first comment on Friday’s award from Duterte’s camp.
The firebrand leader has described Rappler, launched in 2012, as a “fake news outlet” and a tool of the US Central Intelligence Agency, which Ressa has dismissed as nonsense. (MNS)